Once you’ve admired the mighty trees, the afternoon calls for horseback riding. There are two horseback riding stables in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks that offer guided rides: Grant Grove Stables and Cedar Grove Pack Station. The latter, located right outside Cedar Grove Village, offers various tours for riders of all experience levels. Ride a stallion for an hour (or for the whole day) to explore the Kings Canyon River and surrounding wilderness in a unique way. Soak in the majestic views of the glaciated valley featuring towering cliffs and tumbling waterfalls.
The Cedar Grove area of Kings Canyon National Park is also home to two distinguished rock formations—the 8,717-foot North Dome and the 8,518-foot Grand Sentinel. With hiking trails ranging from gentle walks along the floor of the canyon to more challenging climbs up steeper ascents of the canyon's rims, the area offers something for everyone. The Mist Falls Trail is one of the best hikes to do in Cedar Grove. The four-mile, one-way sandy trail takes you through forests and shrublands and past an incredible display of rapids to one of the largest waterfalls in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.
After an eventful day, camping in a tent just won’t do it. Fortunately, you have several excellent places to stay near Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. The most picturesque option is the John Muir Lodge—a stone-and-timber retreat located in Grant Grove Village and within minutes of Grant Grove. Relax by the stone fireplaces in the lobby and enjoy games, puzzles, and books as you admire the rough-hewn, open-beam ceilings and redwood accents. Soak up the Sierra sunset on the balcony while the fresh mountain air reinvigorates your soul as your getaway comes to its end.
Wondering which other California national parks you should add to your list? Read all about the best national parks to visit based on your astrological sign.